The Duchess of Cornwall was charmed by a little girl who put on an impromptu royal command performance as the royal tour of the Caribbean reached St Kitts and Nevis.
Three-year-old Ava Lupinacci curtsied and presented Camilla with a posy of flowers, before dancing and twirling.
Ava’s display came as the duchess visited the Hermitage Plantation House on Nevis, which is said to be the oldest wooden structure in the Caribbean. At the estate, which is thought to date from about 1670, Camilla was offered rum punch, replying: “I couldn’t say no”.
Richard Lupinacci, who runs the plantation, said the recipe was hundreds of years old and was made from “one of sour, two sweet, three strong and four weak — it’s a cure-all.”
After taking a sip, the duchess said: “That’s delicious and packs a punch — it’s really alcoholic.”
Meanwhile the Prince of Wales also got into the Caribbean spirit when he tried his hand at some West Indies folk drumming. He joined the Combined Schools Masquerade group on Nevis, before admitting “I need a bit more practice”.
But Colin Stapleton, who leads the group, said of the prince’s playing: “It was nice — he could have a place with us, with a bit more practice.”
He was at the official residence of St Kitts and Nevis’s deputy governor general Hyleta Liburd, with his wife, and met prominent locals. While there Charles chatted to a group of returnees, Caribbean people who have returned home after living in the UK. He joked with Violet Kelsey, 77, originally from Nevis, who returned home with her English-born husband John in 2004.
Charles was also introduced to a group of Nevis schoolgirls from a sixth form college who had just won an international debating award. One young fan very eager to meet the prince was Junior Persaud, who was celebrating his ninth birthday. Aides noticed his birthday badge and nudged the prince in his direction.
Today is a down day for the royal couple during the 12-day visit. At the weekend they visit Grenada — the last of the Realms in the region — before heading to Cuba and the Cayman Islands.
The government-backed visit is designed to help cement established ties post-Brexit as well as establish new ones, such as with Cuba.